We're at the peak of strawberry season now, and shelves at all the supermarkets and grocery stores are piled with baskets of this striking red-colored sweetie.
Here in Israel we call them tutim, but there is a legend that strawberries were named in the 19th century by English children who picked the fruit, strung them on grass straws, and sold them as "straws of berries."
The strawberry you eat is not really a fruit or a berry, it is actually a member of the rose family.
Versatile and delicious, strawberries also pack a nutritional punch. (They are an excellent source of vitamin C and fiber. All that, and they're low in calories and fat-free too.) Load them onto desserts, throw a handful into your salad, or just pop them into your mouth for a sweet and healthy treat.
Strawberries, because of their red color and heart shape, have always been associated in some way with romance.
The strawberry was a symbol for the goddess Venus because of its color and its unique heart shape.
In France, these lovely little jewels are believed to be a potent aphrodisiac. Newlyweds were served strawberry soup made from thinned sour cream, strawberries, a herb called borage (which tastes of cucumber) and powdered sugar. Yum!
One legend says that if you come upon a double strawberry, break it in half and share it with a member of the opposite sex. Watch for Cupid, because legend has it you'll soon fall in love with each other. Another version of the same legend does not specify "double"; any strawberry will do. You can choose to believe that... or not.
From Sunday February 4 until Tuesday February 13, chefs of nine restaurants in the Sharon area will dish up a variety of strawberry creations.
For 10 days, patrons of the participating restaurants will have the chance to sample an array of festive creations based on strawberries combined with local flavors.
From mango, papaya and strawberry salad at Angelina, to chicken liver tempura with strawberries in ginger and orange sauce at Metro; from Noam Decker's interpretation of strawberries, citrus and mascarpone cheese at Barcarola, to lemon grass brulee with strawberries and citrus cream at Gofferman. Enjoy!